First of all, I'm aware that this post could also be titled "You don't know what you are talking about !"#$%?&*" or "You !"#$%?&* are such a pretentious mother". My point is that you are about to read my most...um..."controversial" posts (there are 2 parts)!
When I was in my last trimester, I read an article titled Why African Babies Don't Cry. The author, who grew up in Kenya and Cote d’Ivoire, was describing her quest to figure out why African babies are said to cry less than European and American babies.
Her first observation was that African babies are literally cocooned from the stresses of the outside world. They are well wrapped up before being carried or strapped onto their mother.
However, after she gave birth, her grand-mother told her the following:
Offer the breast every single moment that your baby is upset
Drink water to keep you hydrated and the milk flowing
Make feeding your priority
(and my favorite) Read your baby, not the books. Breastfeeding is not linear – it goes up and down and also in circles. You are the expert on your baby’s needs.
If you read my blog, you might know that until I gave birth, I had pretty much no contact with babies. Consequently, I had no idea if this "African theory" made sense or not. So I read Dangers of Leaving Baby to Cry It Out (CIO) and the debate about how to respond to a baby’s cries : the “cry it out” method versus the “attachment parents” method (respond immediately to crying baby and attempt to soothe her using various methods).
The article also presents cross-cultural studies that show that parents in non-Western societies are quicker to respond to their crying babies. For exemple, !Kung people respond within ten seconds over 90% of the time during the baby’s first three months, and over 80% of the time at one year. In contrast, American caregivers have been found to be deliberately unresponsive to an infant’s cries almost 50% of the time during the baby’s first three months.
When we came home from the hospital, I didn't really know how to respond to Alice’s cries. This is when, out of the blue, I decided that channeling Africa would be the way!
My next post will explain how this method worked for us so far, how difficult it is to incorporate it in Western societies and how my part of Canada (Québec) makes channeling Africa possible for new mothers.
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lara kasabian: Hello vintage treasure hunter friend :) Wow, a crib is such an awesome piece of furniture to find in the "trash". I love that you called it the crib of luck! Take care xox
lin: I'm planning to eventually do a photo "home tour" but I have a hard time taking proper pictures. Oh, bedbugs are the most evil type of bugs. Very (VERY) difficult to kill. You don't want bedbugs !
sophie: Merci beaucoup Sophie. Tu peux trouver le tissu (qui est présentement en solde!!!) online via purl soho. Il est encore plus beau que sur le site web. J'adore ramasser des objects abandonnés mais je reste prudente car c'est terriblement difficile (et $$$) de se débarasser des punaises de lit. Je suis très heureuse de savoir que tu aimes mon blog. xox
su: The fabric is very pretty and most of all...on sale! The staple gun is so intense!
clairsy: Thank you so much!
leslie: Yes, the car seat is pretty black/white ;) Gray areas are a bit more complicated but they make much more sense since babies/mothers/families are all different.